02/23/2016, 14.20
VIETNAM
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Cần Thơ: Lent for students, including non-Catholics

by Thanh Thuy

The diocese is one of four in the Mekong Delta, southern Vietnam, home to the country’s best universities. Hundreds of young people take part in diocesan activities, focusing on prayer and study. For bishop, “Among Jesus’ disciples were people who did not always do his will”. He calls for welcoming others with their imperfections.

Ho Chi Minh City (AsiaNews) – The Diocese of Cần Thơ, one of four in the Mekong Delta, is a place frequented by thousands of students. Most universities in Vietnam are concentrated in southern Vietnam, south of Ho Chi Minh City. During Lent, the diocese offers a series of activities for young people, who are often far from home.

In Long Phu Parish for example, about 150 students, half of them non-Catholics, took part in workshops with prayers and reflections organised by catechists with the Year of Mercy and Lent as the main topics. The parish also invited academics and medical faculty to meet with students to discuss teaching, and, for medical students, work in hospitals.

Last week, diocesan administrators held a two-day meeting to plan parish activities for the coming months. Mgr Stephan Tri Buu Thien, bishop of Cần Thơ, gave his thoughts about the dignity of the human person, even when people are imperfect.

"Among Jesus’ disciples were people who did not always do his will or that he, from a human point of view, would not have wanted,” said the prelate. “Yet, Jesus received them from the Father and trained them. Among them some failed.”

The bishop, who celebrated 13 years as the diocese’s bishop, called on priests, catechists and volunteers to welcome others as they are, imperfections included.

The Diocese of Cần Thơ covers an area of ​​13,00o sq km, including the city of Cần Thơ and the provinces of Bac Lieu, Ca Mau, Hậu Giang and Soc Trang. The bishop can rely on 207 priests and 344 religious serving 190,000 faithful divided in 94 parishes and 143 sub-parishes.

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